What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. It can occur in one or both eyes. This clouding lessens the amount of light that passes through the lens, which causes blurry or foggy vision.
Cancer treatments, including radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy can cause cataracts. However, in almost all cases, the benefit of the cancer treatment outweighs the risk of developing a cataract.
Common signs of a cataract are:
- Painless blurring of vision.
- Sensitivity to light and glare.
- Double vision in one eye.
- Poor night vision.
- Fading or yellowing colors.
- Need for frequent changes in the prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
How is a cataract managed?
Cataracts can be found by doing a routine eye exam. If you have a history of cancer treatment, an annual eye exam should be part of your post-cancer care. If the cataract changes your vision to the point that it interferes with normal activities, surgery to remove the cataract may be done.
When should I call my care team?
If you have any of the symptoms of a cataract listed above, or if vision changes are impacting your quality of life, call your care team.
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Kleiman NJ. Radiation cataract. Annals of the ICRP. 2012;41(3-4):80-97.
Picano E, Vano E, Domenici L, Bottai M, Thierry-Chef I. Cancer and non-cancer brain and eye effects of chronic low-dose ionizing radiation exposure. BMC cancer. 2012;12:157.